Politics Be Damned, It’s the People of Sint Maarten That Make it Great and They’ll Make it Great Again

Consider the first couple paragraphs here a short preamble, but one I felt was quite necessary given the circumstances in Sint Maarten. So, here we go.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the politics surrounding Sint Maarten. Honestly, the government has really only done one thing quite well and that’s bring attention to themselves. And yes, that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow given the desperate need of their fellow country-men and -women.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have allowed myself to get quite wound up about the politics on the island and I’ve come here to say that it’s time to move on. As I’ve mentioned here in the past, I’m not a particularly political person in general. When faced with a situation like that of post-Irma Sint Maarten, my first inclination was to follow along with every single event that was unfolding on the island.

Sadly, the main event turned into a political foray and it became hard to look the other way. One of my personal reasons for avoiding politics like it’s the plague is simply because they suck so much energy out of any and every thing they touch. Strange when you think about it. Something that was set up to govern society and help protect people has turned into such an ugly thing.

It’s clear that we can’t just turn a blind eye and let the politicians have their way, with most of them seemingly filled with greed and self preservation. What is it that makes people so damn greedy? Why can’t we all just help each other, lend a hand where it’s needed and treat others like the brothers and sisters they are?

I love you. There, I said it. And, what’s more, I’ll say it again and again irregardless of your personal beliefs, where you’re from, what you think of me, or how badly you want to try and push your opinions onto the world. Because, in the end, none of that other stuff matters.

What matters most is that we look at each other and say, “How can I help you?” Irregardless of what each of us is going through individually, that really is the answer, or the question as the case may be. And just think, if each of us went out today with the goal in mind to be helpful to others rather than trying to be so concerned with individual agendas, wouldn’t we all be in a better place.

So instead of rushing to work and feeling like everyone is in our way, perhaps we stop and let in any and every one who wants to get in front of us. Maybe it’s better to be courteous and kind to others than to be on time. That’s a simple notion, but it’s one that’s worth contemplating and expanding upon.

I often think of all of the things my wife and I work to teach our four- and five-year-old boys. Lately, I’ve been quite self reflective when it comes to those daily lessons. Am I practicing everything I try to teach our kids?

And yet, in Sint Maarten these things are happening more than we — those of us not on the island — have come to realize. Most of the news we see these days seems like it’s bad, and that’s true worldwide. I suppose that’s what sells. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t a tremendous amount of good happening. There is.

Here are just a few examples of good happening in Sint Maarten. Take a look and I’ll meet you on the other side.

For all the bad we hear surrounding the politics on the island, there is so much good that is happening in Sint Maarten. And, while it’s easy to get distracted by the obstacles in front of us, it’s sometimes much better to spend our time working to find ways to overcome them then it is to ponder the misery of their existence.

The people of Sint Maarten need help. There is no denying that. But if one thing here is perfectly clear, it’s that the people are coming together, they are uniting and they don’t need to wait for their government to give them permission.

So while the politicians bicker and rant amongst themselves it’s important to keep the headlines in perspective. The real news about Sint Maarten is that the island is filled to the brim with beautiful, kind and loving people. The kind of people who look at each other and say, “How can I help you?”

So for all the miles of stunning scenery, the crystal blue water and incredible sunsets, it’s the people of Sint Maarten that make it great. And rest assured, they are busier than ever working to make it great again.

Please help rebuild SXM and give today. Click here to visit the SXM Strong donate page. Thank you!

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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